1) Truck Driver Damages Nazca Lines
A truck driver who intentionally ignored road signs and drove into a protected area of the Peruvian countryside has caused significant damage to the nation’s famed Nazca Lines. The lines, dating back over 2,000 years, are an artefact pre-dating Inca society, and have been declared a United Nations World Heritage Site. A video shows the truck being driven off the Pan-American Highway and into the preserved site, where it left significant tire marks across three of the geoglyphs. The driver of the truck was arrested and is expected to be charged with a so-called “attack against cultural heritage.” Experts are still assessing the damage to the artefacts.
2) DiCaprio Backs Magnus App
The free art app Magnus, which helps users find information about artworks based on photographic recognition, now has the backing of noted art collector and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Developed by New York-based entrepreneur Magnus Resch, Magnus allows users to upload a photograph of the artwork in question. If the work exists in the app’s database, the app will return information about the work’s title, medium, artist, and price -- accurate and verified, according to the creator. For his part, DiCaprio states he is “proud to partner with Magnus as the app continues to education people everywhere about the art around them.”
3) Bjarne Melgaard's Controversial "House"
Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard has big plans for a landscape most famous as the subject of a late-era Edward Munsch painting. Plans for the project, popularly known as “A House to Die In,” show the construction as a massive, irregularly shaped “U.F.O.” supported by statues of various stylized animals. The plans for the building’s interior are even more sensational. Melgaard plans to partner with architectural firm Snohetta, who are known for large projects including the opera house in Oslo, and the September 11th Memorial Museum in New York City. Melgaard is something of a controversial figure in the Scandinavian art scene, and his plans have drawn particular ire from residents of an artist’s colony that is currently occupying the proposed art piece’s location.
4) Vantablack Pavilion Opens in PyeongChang
Vantablack, the blackest shade of black yet created -- and prior to this, exclusive to the creative whims of Anish Kapoor -- will be making a public appearance at the 2018 winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. British architect Asif Khan has coated an entire pavilion with the stuff, allowing visitors to experience the all-consuming darkness firsthand, starting today. It’s worth noting that this isn’t precisely the Vantablack spray variant that caused such a stir when Kapoor was granted exclusive artistic rights -- Vantablack VBx2 is, instead, the latest version of the material produced by Surrey NanoSystems. Khan has been working with the company since 2013, and says that this jump in the material’s scalability could be the beginning of a larger nanomaterials movement.
5) New Emojis Coming Soon
The Unicode Consortium has revealed a collection of 157 brand new emojis that could be coming to a smartphone near you in later summer or early fall. While the official graphic designs have not yet been released, Hyperallergic has some choice mock-ups by Emojipedia to satisfy your curiosity.